Trigger Points and Posture

Janet Travell in 1942 first coined the term “trigger point” to describe the contraction “knots” or nodes that develop from overuse or injuries. When muscles are under continuous low level static exertions, the knots develop making it difficult for the contraction to relax and return back to its normal state.

A good picture of what is happening at the microscopic level of muscle (in the sacromeres)


The main symptoms that occur from trigger points is referred pain. However, the pain that you may be feeling at one site may be the cause of a trigger point somewhere completely different. It is a complete mistake to assume that the problem is at the site where it hurts.
These are few studies that I have looked over this past week on how trigger points develop due to repetitive postural and even visual stressors, mainly sitting at a computer for a desired amount of time seems to almost certainly create trigger points in the upper traps.
1. Effects of postural and visual stressors on myofascial trigger point development and motor unit rotation during computer work Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, Volume 21, Issue 1, February 2011, Pages 41-48

2. Myofascial trigger point development from visual and postural stressors during computer work
Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, Volume 16, Issue 2, April 2006, Pages 115-124

3. Review of enigmatic MTrPs as a common cause of enigmatic musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, Volume 14, Issue 1, February 2004, Pages 95-107

What does this all mean? Self-myofascial release techniques (foam rolling) are needed to break up any trigger points or fascial restrictions in our muscle. It basically breaks up the muscle allow it to move more freely and efficiently through a more desired range of motion. There is a soft tissue circuit video posted in a past post that is very beneficial for this. At Endeavor we do our soft tissue work before the dynamic warm-up but it could be done after as well.

On a side note, I am a huge Michigan football fan and have been my entire life probably because my father has always been and used to recruit for them for many years in the South Jersey area. Consequently, I am pumped that Michigan hired Brady Hoke who used to be a Michigan defensive line coach from 1995-2002. I had the pleasure to meet and talk with him many times as a young kid and think he may do quite well there in time!
Here’s some history for ya!



Categories: Injury Prevention, Stretching/Soft Tissue Work

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